The thing that shocked me, upon cursory examination of a fraction of their publicity is just how openly misogynistic and abusive to women it is! In all of the footage I’ve seen, women are routinely abused or are shown as looking like victims of abuse. Why is it specifically women that are portrayed as standing in for all the animals that are ‘abused’? Are men never abused? Have we sunk so low that we have to use a video of a woman being clubbed to death with a baseball bat for wearing a fur coat to ‘raise awareness’ of the plight of animals?
This video is even worse. It advocates going vegan and claims that when you go vegan, your sex drive goes through the roof and your girlfriend will be unable to walk and will look like an abuse victim. What kind of an image is that?
Surely the sight of a man having the same done to him would shock just as much,? Watching that clip, it was somewhat telling as to the extent of this all-pervasive social conditioning to see women as weak and fragile and often times abused. While I was certainly morally outraged, some irrational part of my brain said “yeah, not terribly surprised or shocked”. This is ridiculous!
Here are some more examples of their work[Survivors UK](http://www.survivorsuk.org/) are on the right track with their ‘Real Men Get Raped’ campaign. It’s one of the few examples of an organisation having the balls to stand up and say “bad shit happens to everyone” and help swing the public perception of ‘rape only happens to women’, which is what is happening subconsciously because any portrayal of abuse in the media usually depicts it as happening to women.
PETA’s advertising is not only abusive but it also drives home the point that “this shit happens to women“. And that’s where the brain switches off. People ignore the content of the ad. We’re past the age where shocking ads are effective. We are bombarded by hundreds of pieces of information from every angle: billboards, tv’s, Internet adverts, YouTube, magazines, radio. We’ve all seen so many ‘shock’ campaigns that we’ve become culturally blasé to violence and other ‘shock tactics’. As soon as we see another ‘shocking’ advert, our brains just shut down and file the content of the ad under ‘yeah yet another shallow, ineffective attempt at grabbing my attention’.
It’s time we moved to a new age of advertising.
We’re now at a point where we have the technology and skill to do a lot of our own research for ourselves in our own way. Advertisers shouldn’t be trying to shove information down our throats as fast as possible before our culturally-generated ADHD kicks in and our attention flutters away. Giving people a thread and encouraging them to seek information out for themselves will make it stick in the mind and will lead to a better-informed populace.